The UST Faculty Union (USTFU) wants to be included in the policymaking process for limited face-to-face (F2F) classes in the University.

USTFU President Emerito Gonzales said the union had yet to be consulted by the UST administration since the University started opening limited F2F classes in June this year.

“It is important that the union must be part of the policy-making body for the F2F classes since the faculty members are directly placed in harm’s way,” Gonzales told the Varsitarian in a Nov. 10 email.

The union president said he was in favor of the limited F2F classes in the University, but was concerned for faculty members whose roles had yet to be clarified.

Gonzales said that aside from the USTFU, the Central Student Council (CSC) must be consulted for the F2F classes.

“Ideally, there should be a joint UST-USTFU-CSC committee for the F2F classes wherein management, the [USTFU], and the CSC are equally represented,” Gonzales added.

The union president said a lot of issues needed to be addressed: 

  • the vaccination status of a class to be allowed for in-person classes;
  • whether unvaccinated teachers and students will be allowed to attend classes;
  • whether faculty members can refuse to do on-site work;
  • whether sick leaves can be used when a teacher contracts Covid-19.

“Will the admin shoulder the confinement of teachers who got infected by Covid on top of their basic hospitalization benefits? Will the admin accord them a new set of 14-day sick leave for their mandatory quarantine upon exposure to the virus?” Gonzales said.

“Can a faculty member refuse? Who should shoulder the expenses for RT-PCR testing? […] Questions like these remain unanswered to me, to us in the faculty union,” he added.

On Nov. 5, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) said limited face-to-face classes in all degree programs would be allowed in areas under Alert Level 2 provided that colleges and universities have high vaccination rates, approval from local government units, and retrofitted facilities.

Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Prof. Cheryl Peralta earlier told the Varsitarian that the University was still awaiting specific guidelines from CHEd regarding in-person classes for more degree programs. 


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